While the character was removed during the production of the film, Belle's mother is alluded to in other materials surrounding her background. In the musical adaptation, she is mentioned in the song No Matter What where Belle's father compares her to her late mother ("You are your mother's daughter; therefore you are class. ... creme de la creme"), hinting that Belle's mother might have originally been from the upper-classes of high society; further suggesting that Belle's mother was a daughter of a 'vieux riche' family, and went on to marry a nouveau riche (Maurice). Since Belle mentions that her family having not been from the Village originally ("Every morning just the same, since the morning that we came, to this poor provincial town"), it could be argued that Belle's mother had passed away before Belle and Maurice had moved to the village.
In addition, a portrait of her reading to a younger Belle can be seen on the wall inside the replica of Belle's cottage that is a part of the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction at Magic Kingdom. Also, she was seen with the same book that Belle got from the bookseller, indicating that she was the reason why the book was her favorite and why the bookkeeper allowed her to keep it.
In the 1989 version of the original screenplay of the film, Belle's mother was planned to have been mentioned as the deceased mother of two daughters, Belle and Clarice, (this time with Belle as the oldest sister). Wherein after her death, her musicbox (the figurines on which mirror those in the famous 18th-century painting "The Swing", by Jean Honore-Fragonard) is passed down to Belle on her 17th birthday (said music-box being an heirloom that had been passed-down to Belle's mother on her own 17th birthday). But ultimately she was never brought up at all in the final edits of the 1991 original screenplay.
Her passing marked the beginning of a series of misfortunes that would befall her family before her daughter, Belle, willingly exchanged her own freedom for her father's life, and later brakes the curse that plagued the Beast.
She also appeared in the Once Upon a Time episode "Family Business", portrayed by Frances O'Connor. In this version, she was named Colette. She was killed by an Ogre on Ogre Wars while protecting her daughter.
In the live-action adaptation, Belle's mother was a victim of the plague (Black Death) in Paris when Belle was only an infant. Before Belle's mother died, she told Maurice to get himself and their daughter to safety. To escape the plague, Maurice and Belle moved from Paris to Villenuve. Maurice remained in a state of grief and drew pictures of her with Belle to cope with his loss, but he would not tell Belle the true cause of her death.
Eventually, Belle and the Beast travels to the old cottage through a magical book left by the Enchantress. There, the Beast spots an old baby rattle (shaped like a rose) and a plague doctor mask left inside the room, deducing that the plague is what killed Belle's mother and that Maurice was forced to evacuate with Belle at the time. With this revelation revealed, Belle finally realizes that Maurice couldn't bear to tell her truth behind her mother's death; even the Beast realizes that he was wrong to imprison Maurice as the latter only wanted to get a rose from the castle garden to make Belle happy. Reflecting on how his mother died succumbing to an illness when he was a child, the Beast expresses his condolences to Belle by apologizing for his misgivings against her father.
After being held captive with her father inside an asylum carriage by Gaston and Monsieur D'Arque, Belle admits to Maurice that she knows about the true cause behind her mother's death by producing the rose rattle, and that the Beast helped her out in finding it, which made Maurice realize that the Beast is not as terrible as he appears. After apologizing for not telling the truth, Maurice uses Belle's hair pin to free himself and Belle from the carriage before allowing Belle to run back to the Beast's castle to stop Gaston from slaying the Beast.